Book Alert: Dubno 1941: The Greatest Tank Battle of the Second World War

According to Amazon, today marks the North American release of the new book Dubno 1941: The Greatest Tank Battle of the Second World War by Aleksei Isaev.  This is a 224 page hardcover published by Helion and Company.  Mr. Isaev has written numerous books on the Eastern Front during WWII, primarily in Russian.

Publisher’s Description:

In June 1941 – during the first week of the Nazi invasion in the Soviet Union – the quiet cornfields and towns of Western Ukraine were awakened by the clanking of steel and thunder of explosions; this was the greatest tank battle of the Second World War. About 3,000 tanks from the Red Army Kiev Special Military District clashed with about 800 German tanks of Heeresgruppe South. Why did the numerically superior Soviets fail? Hundreds of heavy KV-1 and KV-2 tanks, the five-turret giant T-35 and famous T-34 failed to stop the Germans. Based on recently available archival sources, A. Isaev describes the battle from a new point of view: that in fact it’s not the tanks, but armored units, which win or lose battles. The Germans during the Blitzkrieg era had superior T&OE for their tank forces. The German Panzer Division could defeat their opponents not by using tanks, but by using artillery, which included heavy artillery, motorized infantry and engineers. The Red Army’s armored unit – the Mechanized Corps – had a lot of teething troubles, as all of them lacked accompanying infantry and artillery. In 1941 the Soviet Armored Forces had to learn the difficult science – and mostly ‘art’ – of combined warfare. Isaev traces the role of these factors in a huge battle around the small Ukrainian town of Dubno. Popular myths about impregnable KV and T-34 tanks are laid to rest. In reality, the Germans in 1941 had the necessary tools to combat them. The author also defines the real achievements on the Soviet side: the Blitzkrieg in the Ukraine had been slowed down. For the Soviet Union, the military situation in June 1941 was much worse than it was for France and Britain during the Western Campaign in 1940. The Red Army wasn’t ready to fight as a whole and the border district’s armies lacked infantry units, as they were just arriving from the internal regions of the USSR. In this case, the Red Army tanks became the ‘Iron Shield’ of the Soviet Union; they even operated as fire brigades. In many cases, the German infantry – not tanks – became the main enemy of Soviet armored units in the Dubno battle. Poorly organized, but fierce, tank-based counterattacks slowed down the German infantry – and while the Soviet tanks lost the battle, they won the war.

AFV News from Around the Web

Another installment of AFV news from around the web. Click in the headline to go to the full article.

 

IHS Jane’s – Israel unveils Namer turret upgrade

1706884_-_mainThe Israeli Ministry of Defense (MoD) has unveiled a prototype of an upgraded version of its Namer heavy armoured personnel carrier (APC) fitted with a turret that is armed with a 30 mm gun.  In a statement released on 31 July, the MoD said the prototype was developed by its Merkava Tank Administration together with the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) Ground Forces and will begin a series of trials in the coming days.

 

IHS Jane’s – First Polish Army unit receives full complement of Krab SPHs

1706908_-_mainDeliveries of Krab 155 mm self-propelled howitzers (SPHs) to the Masurian Artillery Regiment (11 MPA) will be completed this month, marked by a ceremony on 31 August in the presence of officials from the ministry of defence, the unit said on its website. Fourteen Krabs were delivered to the regiment by tank transporters on 31 July.

 

Defense News – Turkey goes ahead with armored amphibious vehicle program

3GHEUMX3TVHMZALWDMH7RSCNKQANKARA — Turkey’s procurement authorities have decided to go ahead with a draft program for the local production of scores of armored amphibious assault vehicles. Turkey’s procurement agency, the Undersecretariat for Defense Industries (SSM) and FNSS, the company that has been tasked to design, develop and manufacture the vehicles, held a “successful” review meeting over the program mid July.

 

Defense News – Ukraine in talks to sell Pakistan 100 tanks

NCIR4RK3LZH5XIE3BG4MVWMVGIWARSAW, Poland — Ukraine is negotiating the sale of 100 T-84 Oplot main battle tanks to Pakistan, and plans to use the funds to modernize the production capacities of its state-owned defense industry and invest in research and development, according to daily Gazeta Wyborcza.  The potential deal, which is to be handed to Ukraine defense group Ukroboronprom, would mark another export contract for the supply of the tanks following a deal signed in 2011 with Thailand. Bangkok is to obtain a total of 49 Oplots.

 

War is Boring – What’s the Democratic Republic of Congo Doing With These Ukrainian Tanks?

T-64BV1-ukrajinski-glavni-bojni-tank--900x350Three years ago, Ukraine announced it would sell 50 of its T-64BV-1 tanks to an unspecified foreign customer, rumored to be the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This became official in 2016 with the delivery of 25 of the tanks to the country, according to information just released by Ukraine to the U.N. Register of Conventional Arms.

 

The National Interest – France Just Showed off a New Tank Sporting a Massive Main Gun

bastille_day_2014_paris_-_motorised_troops_063_1.jpgIn the summer of 2016, a French magazine published some curious photos of a Leclerc main battle tank of the French Army, painted in the jagged new Scorpion camouflage scheme—and sporting a massive 140-millimeter, fifty-five-caliber gun. You can check out pictures here and here and here.  The huge smoothbore gun came from the experimental T4 gun turret built in 1996 by GIAT and the Bourges arsenal.

DoD Buzz – Chief Wants Tanks with Active Protection, New Armor, Driverless Option

161016-A-AP268-131The U.S. Army‘s chief of staff said he wants future versions of its main battle tank, the M1 Abrams, and other ground combat vehicles to feature active protection systems, as-yet-undeveloped lighter armor and a driverless option.  Gen. Mark Milley outline such technologies when speaking Thursday at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. He was responding to a question about whether he was concerned that Russia plans to field a new tank, the T-14 Armata, in 2020.

 

Herald Sun – Tanks in blast from the future as Defence Force contract up for grabs

20061811276047d826551341de2812afA FINAL series of blast tests have been completed on the two short-listed contenders vying for a multi-billion-dollar Australian Defence Force contract to build its new Combat Reconnaissance Vehicle.  The bid — hotly contested between Victoria and Queensland — would be based at the old Holden factory should defence giant BAE Systems be awarded the $5 billion contract to build 225 combat vehicles.

Video: Chi-Ri & Chi-To Tanks Scrapped at Aberdeen

This rather intriguing video showed up on Youtube yesterday and appears to answer the question of what ever happened to the Japanese Type 5 Chi-Ri Heavy tank prototype. Sources generally state that the vehicle was either scrapped at Aberdeen Proving Grounds or lost at sea during shipment. If this video is what it says, we may have proof that it did indeed make it to Aberdeen where it was scrapped. The video is said to be from October 4, 1952 and shows a number of vehicles, including several Japanese tanks. Both a Type 4 Chi-To and the Type 5 Chi-Ri are visible. That these vehicles were scrapped rather than preserved is a rather depressing thought.

 
Here is a screen capture of the Chi-Ri.

Chi Ri aberdeen

Photo of the Day: A Bit of Dirt in the Barrel

From the recent Tank Biathlon in Russia comes this picture of a T-72 landing a bit too aggressively after negotiating an obstacle and burying the gun into the dirt.  Ouch.

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Photo of the Day: Namer with 30mm gun

This POTD is taken from IHS Jane’s Defense Weekly, who are reporting that the IDF has unveiled a prototype of the Namer APC with a 30mm gun mounted in an unmanned turret.  This represents a considerable upgrade in firepower over the existing Namer armament of a single .50 cal machine gun.  Read more here.

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Book Alert: British Infantry Tanks in World War II

Kagero Press has released a new entry in their Photosniper series. This new book by Dick taylor is titled British Infantry Tanks in World War II (Photosniper). This is a softcover book of 96 pages with color photos and illustrations. While we have not gotten our copy of this book in the post yet, we have been pleased with other books of this series as well as with other books written by Dick Taylor.

Publisher’s Description:

Before the start of the Second World War, British armored doctrine was in a terrible muddle. Opinion had been divided between the proponents of the tank who saw it as the weapon of break-in, using it as an infantry support weapon, and those who saw it as the weapon of breakout, using it to restore mobility and to destroy the enemy’s forces behind the frontline. In many ways it was a division between those who saw the tank solely through the prism of the experience of the First World War, and those who saw it a decisive weapon for the future. Britain was also conscious of the continuing requirements for imperial policing, in which small tanks and armored cars had already proved their worth. As a consequence, it was decided that Britain needed three different classes of tanks: Light tanks for the policing role that could also be used for reconnaissance duties in a general war, fast and lightly armored Cruiser tanks for breakout and exploitation, and heavily armored but slow Infantry tanks for the break-in.

Tank Biathlon 2017

1174066This past weekend saw the start of the 2017 iteration of the Tank Biathlon competition in Russia which runs from July 29 to August 12.  To the surprise of no one, the Russian team is so far in first place, having beaten the Chinese team.  Later this week the Russian and Chinese teams will face off against the Indian team.  The Russian team operates T-72BM3 tanks, the Chinese bring their own Type 96 and the Indians will be using The T-90S.  Other competitors who do not bring their own tank are supplied with a T-72B3 by their Russian host.  The English language version of the official site for the competition can be seen here.

Articles and video for Tank Biathlong 2017

Newsweek – Russian Forces Beating China in Tank Olympics, Hailing its Kit as “Best in the World”

TASS – Russia leads in tank biathlon at 2017 International Army Games after half of races

Business Standard – Indian Army Team with T90 Tanks Participates in Tank Biathlon 2017 in Russia